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Minutes - Open Space - May 14, 2008 Approved NIl/2008. OPEN SPACE BOARD OF TRUSTEES Minutes May 14, 2008 BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT Pat Billig Bill Briggs John Putnam Allyn Feinberg STAFF PRESENT Mike Patton Dean Paschal] Jim Reeder Joe Mantione Ann Goodhart Ronda Romero Laurie Defter Eric Fairlee Steve Armstead Jeny Katopodes Sarah Diefenbach Jim Schmidt CALL TO ORDER The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. AGENDA ITEM 1-Approval of Minutes Bill Briggs thought the minutes should reflect that the last meeting was John Pumam's first meeting. The Board would like to add "the Board welcomed John Putnam to his first OSBT meeting". Bill moved that the minutes of April 9, 2008 be approved as amended. John seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. AGENDA ITEM 2 -Public Participation Larry MacDonnell told the Board about a meeting that was held the night before with about 30 people to discuss opportunities for the South Boulder Creek Watershed. The group wants to bring together different stakeholders with interests in South Boulder Creek to see if they can be more effective in the conservation of the watershed. The watershed runs through a substantial amount of public land, and supports a high value ecosystem. The group agreed that these places are better managed if the stakeholder groups communicate and work together. Mr. MacDonnell thinks the meeting was a successful start and looks forward to working with Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) on the process. Mike Patton said staff will send the Board a white paper Bob Crifasi is preparing on the Denver Water Board (DWB) expansion of Gross Reservoir in the near future. Nancy Neupert said that Trail #14 was originally intended to be a connector from Doudy Draw to the bridge across the DWB canal and from the Fowler Trail to the bridge across the DWB canal, assuming that the existing bridge was going to be used. The existing bridge is not going to be used so the trail is not needed for that function. Ms. Neupert asked the Boazd to consider asking staff to revisit the plan for that trail. The trail has also been moved 75 feet because of the DWB so it is now more disruptive of the wooded area than was intended. Ms. Neupert also read in the paper that sales tax revenue is down so she knows OSMP does not have enough money to do all the ambitious projects on their plate. She would like to ask the Board and staff to think about whether the trail is something they want to build. Mike Barrow, on behalf of BMA, gave the Boazd an update on BMA's recent activities. BMA is currently working with public land stakeholders in the area and other recreational groups to discuss aspirations for the West Trail Study Area (TSA). Mr. Barrow and others felt that using the public meetings OSMP hosts during the TSA processes as a primary way of communicating with each other is not effective. Many groups wanted to talk more outside of the public forum in the hope that these conversations bring the community together. BMA is also working with OSMP, Boulder County Parks and Open Space, and Eldorado Canyon State Park on the possibility of redesigning the Eldorado Canyon trail into amultiple-use trail. BMA hired a professional trail building company to evaluate the AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE I State Park section of the Eldorado Canyon trail to see if a sustainable multi-use trail could be built there and their answer was yes. BMA is also reaching out to other recreational groups to make sure everyone is onboard with the project. Finally, this evening and weekend BMA has about 50 members attending classes to become certified bike patrollers on public land. The c]asses are being jointly held with the city, county and Forest Service and all have agreed on one set of training for patrolling on each of the agency's trails. Mike Patton agrees with Mr. Barrow that having all three land agencies agree on the training provides more clarity on the expectations of using those land systems. AGENDA ITEM 3 -Director's Update Mike Patton passed out to the Board copies of a letter from Steve Jones that he received late this morning. Mike received a request from the city and RTD to share in the cost of providing bus service to Chautauqua. Mike checked with the City Attorney's Office, and it is a stretch to use open space funds for that purpose. Mike wanted to get advice from the Board. John Putnam said that he represents RTD so he excused himself from commenting. Pat Billig asked about the bus route and Bill Briggs clarified that the service has already started. RTD, the city Transportation Department and the Chamber of Commerce are all paying for part of the project. Bill supports giving it serious consideration, but he is not sure how viable the bus route is since it only makes one connection to Chautauqua and people come from all directions to get there. Mike agreed that visitors aze not all coming from the direction of downtown. Allyn Feinberg asked if staff has looked at the budget, and figured out the opportunity cost of contributing. Mike said the cost of fuel may be a large expense that was not anticipated. The $7,000 request is approximately enough for the department to hire one seasonal person for the summer. Allyn thinks it is a significant stretch to do this since staff currently does not know what they could be giving up since the budget is not set. If they can wait until after the budget discussion staff may see that there is a trade off that could make it work. Mike agrees that it could be trickier with revenues being about $85,000 lower this year, meaning less will be available next year. Cost allocation has also gone up by about $200,000. Allyn asked what the plan is after the first pilot year for full funding. Mike said it is always tougher getting out of a funding agreement. Mike asked if it would work for the Boazd to bring this item back during the budget process, and everyone agreed. Mike sent the Boazd an email about OSMP's organizational structure and is happy to answer any questions they may have. The depaztment has been talking about organizational dynamics and structure for awhile as part of the Strategic Operating Plan (SOP), and wanted to look at the organizational structure to see if it is setup effectively to complete the SOP Legacy Projects. Mike added a Deputy Director position to be more involved in the two major operating divisions, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has already been moved from the Land and Facilities Division into the Resource Division. GIS is now being called Resource Information and will be more involved in decision making. Mike also created a Community Connection group with Education and Outreach and Volunteer Services to engage the community with a single message. He created a Visitor Access Coordinator position and split trail construction away from trail head maintenance. Additional supervisory positions were also added to give strength and create opportunities within the structure for advancement. Mike believes these changes allow OSMP to be more focused on completing the SOP projects, and is convinced the changes will give better strength to the two main operating divisions. Mike added that Dean Paschall will take on managing the community process, which will be crucial in the upcoming West TSA. Bill Briggs asked for more information on the Deputy Director position and Mike said OSMP is in the process of getting the city's Human Resources Department to authorize the position. Staff will be engaged in screening applicants and will help define the required credentials. Mike added that there AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE Z was some community participation when Annie McFazland was hired which was very helpful and Mike thinks that maybe advantageous for this position as well. Bill inquired about the timeframe for hiring this position and Mike said it will be posted by the following week at the latest. John Putnam thinks clustering together the resource specialists makes sense, and asked why the Cultural Resource Coordinator is under Central Services instead of with the other resource coordinators. Mike explained that he also looked to balance the organization, and the Central Services Division has coordinated grant writing for historic preservation in the past. Originally that position was with the planning group, but Mike wants their focus to be on recreation and the environment, and thought cultural resources would be best served by working with Delani Wheeler. The new structure will be tried for at least a yeaz to give it a chance to be successful, and if something needs to be adjusted it will be done in the most appropriate way. Jim Reeder said there is a lot of trail work planned in the Eldorado Mountain /Doudy Draw area this year. John Leither is leading the trail crew on the reroute of Doudy Draw up to Community Ditch. The judge in the FRICO lawsuit denied FRICO's request to change the original ruling on the Highway 93 underpass and let the finding stand, but the judge did grant them a stay in preparation for their appeal. FRICO is required to put up a bond to cover the anticipated increase in construction costs that result from the delay. Mike explained that FRICO has a record of vigorously pursuing their legal rights so it could be costly and there could be many delays. Allyn asked how long the appeal might take, and Mike said it can take a while; they can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court as far as he knows. Bill added that appealing could be FRICO's strategy to delay and drain the budget. AGENDA ITEM 4 -Matters from the Board John Putnam received an a-mail from Allen Streater about the airport azea property and is curious to see if staff has looked at the property and has any comments on the a-mail request for bike access. Mike Patton said staff knows the area but has not had the opportunity to look at the request in detail, as staff did not receive the e-mail any earlier than John did. John asked if staff could talk about the request in more detail at a future meeting, and Mike said it will be discussed at the next Board meeting. John is interested in seeing any background information and previous decisions on the azea. Pat Billig asked when the Board retreat is scheduled. Dean Paschall sent an a-mail today with possible dates, since May 31 does not work. Dean will resend the a-mail tomorrow and asked the Boazd to categorize their preference for dates and respond to him so the date can be set. Allyn Feinberg asked if the agenda for the retreat is already set, and Mike said no, that the Board drives the agenda. Staff typically covers some items like the budget, operating issues, and acquisitions, but other than those issues the agenda is up to the Board, and it will be discussed with the Board before it is finalized. AGENDA ITEM 5 - 2007 City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Integrated Pest Management Program Annual Report* Eric Fairlee and Laurie Defter are the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) coordinators for Open Space and Mountain Parks; Laurie handles the parts of the system west of Highway 93. IPM has not given the Board an update since 2005. Laurie pointed out the attachments in the Board memo. One of the attachments is the result of the city-wide IPM policy instituted in 1993, which aims to reduce and eliminate the volume and toxiciTy of chemicals used. This spreadsheet allows all city departments to record pesticide use and other treatments in the same way. Tn 2002, the IPM task force was established by the city manager with the instructions to look at pesticide usage and develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) for each species, including if, when and how pesticides should be used. The IPM subcommittee meets annually to evaluate new pesticides and remove old ones from the approved list. Eric said that IPM has been moved into the Resource group, and has a part in all eight of the Strategic Operating Plan (SOP) Legacy projects. IPM is involved in implementation of the Visitor Master Plan (VMP) with planning for recreation through the TSA process and other sources of recreation such as AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 3 paragliding and hang gliding. IPM is involved in trail layout and trail design, and also identifies where Rapid Assessment Mapping (RAM) is being used. IPM is also involved in the later phases of recreation planning, to monitor weed populations when new trails aze constructed to limit the possibility for the spread of invasive species. The IPM coordinators work together with the trail crews to help identify weed infestations and where they aze spreading as part of the Trail and Trailhead Management project. The System-wide Natural Resource Conservation legacy project also involves IPM; IPM has worked with Chris Wanner to develop a holistic approach to the Forest Ecosystem Management Plan (FEMP). Eric is also a core member on the Grassland Ecosystem Management Plan (GMAP). Weeds are a huge threat to natural systems and having a member of the IPM team involved in the planning process opens the doors to understanding potential threats to the conservation tazgets identified in that plan. IPM will also be incorporated into the Land Restoration and Reclamation legacy project. Mike Patton added that he learned from Eric that the timing of construction of trails is also an issue to consider since certain weeds are more likely to spread at certain times of year. Allyn Feinberg asked if, in general, the IPM program is holding its own, falling behind or is ahead of the curve on some of the pests OSMP manages. Eric said that there are always new infestations, but that RAM helps IPM stay ahead of the game. Mapping indicates that there aze a few species OSMP is falling behind on, but Eric is confident in what they have accomplished and where they are going. Mike added that weeds are one of the biggest threats to the western environment, and said OSMP may or may not have enough resources allocated to IPM. OSMP has not grappled with restoration efforts as much in the past as is planned in the future, which will require more resources than aze currently allocated to IPM. Allyn thinks that by integrating IPM into the other resource projects the department will be successful. John Putnam asked how IPM decides what areas to map and how acres to be mapped are prioritized. Eric explained that they have focused on the TSA areas first, and this yeaz the West TSA is being mapped. The focus is also on the largest blocks and important grasslands from the standpoint of the conservation targets. There are some smaller, isolated parcels that have been put on the back burner for now. John asked about pesticide use and is curious about the trend in use of higher toxicity pesticides. Laurie noted that the IPM task force only looked at natural areas, and not the agricultural fields with alfalfa and other crops, which is where the most toxic chemicals are applied. As far as the natural aeeas, the task force is finding more and more benign herbicides to use. IPM recently obtained approval for a new product to use on myrtle spurge, an invasive weed that landowners aze required to eradicate by the state. IPM is trying to hand pull every myrtle spurge plant in the system, except for infestations that are one acre or lazger, where other treatment options will be considered. Pat Billig inquired about the pine bark beetles and if OSMP is doing anything about the beetles. Mike explained that one of the most effective ways to manage the beetles is to have healthy forest ecosystems. The beetle has not made its way to Boulder yet, and is mostly in lodgepole pines right now, but it is not restricted to that species. The cycle of warmer weather may have helped the beetles along, because there has not been a strong, long, cold snap to kill them. Boulder County Nature Association (BCNA) did a symposium on the beetle a few weeks ago and the feeling is that there is not much that can be done other than trying to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem. Dean Paschall added that it is not known what will happen in Boulder, there is speculation that there maybe less impact because Boulder has mostly ponderosa pine. OSMP is closely monitoring the situation and working with Boulder County and the US Forest Service. Selected spraying has been tried in Summit County and the chemical has been detected in the Blue River, so OSMP would probably not look at spraying. The beetle seems to be holding on the west side of the divide right now. OSMP is moving ahead with an education program, and hopes the impact seen on the west slope will not be seen here. AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 4 Public Participatiou None. Return to Board & Staff Laurie invited the Board to a community weed pull (jointed goat grass) being held as a joint venture with the Parks and Recreation Department on June 3. During the day, the entire Shining Mountain Waldorf School will be out, mainly doing an education and outreach event, and then from 4:30 to 6 p.m. adults (12 and over) will be invited to help pull weeds. Allyn thanked Laurie and Eric. AGENDA ITEM 6 - Consideration of the disposition of 6 acres of the Woodley Open Space property including all improvements located at 7957 Arapahoe Road pursuant to Section 177 of the Boulder City Charter* Jim Schmidt presented the Woodley disposition; details are in the Board memo. A notice was put in the paper and the immediate neighbors were notified about the disposition. If the Board and council approve the disposition, the property will be sold through a sealed bid procedure, with the goal of getting the maximum amount of money as possible for the Open Space acquisition fund. Jim said they anticipate receiving $750,000 to $1.1 million. The staff recommendation is to approve the disposition and pass a motion recommending that City Council approve the disposition. Pat Billig said that many people have told her the property and farm are fairly unique because the integrity of the setting has been maintained. Pat asked if either the Historical Society or the Historical Preservation Advisory Board has looked at the property. Jim said that the buildings have been landmarked through the county process, and OSMP also gave the county a conservation easement on the six acres. Pat inquired whether the new owner would get tax credits with the county status; she believes that in order for them to receive tax credits, the property would have to be nominated to the state or national level. Tim said he will look into the tax credit situation. Allyn Feinberg thinks that if the property owners wanted to do some renovation or restoration that they could use a tax credit. John Putnam looked around the property with Jim today, and Tim explained to him how the timing of the sale relates to current market conditions as John was concerned that OSMP may not get the maximum value. Jim said that in his experience there is no soft economy when it comes to upper-end real estate and currently those properties are selling for more than one would expect. Jim thinks that with the robust economy for upper-end homes, and the added bonus that this is really a horse property close to Boulder, it will do well on the market this summer. Public Participation Jute Romberg asked if the property were sold, what assurances the neighbors have that it will be restored and kept as historical, and that a lazge house will not be built there. Jim explained that that is the reason staff went through the county process to landmark all of the buildings, and put an additional layer of protection on the property with the conservation easement. The ]andmarking board has approved drawings for an addition on the west side of the house. Jim expects that whoever buys the property will have an interest in animals and have horses and maybe do some small hobby farming. Return to Board & Staff Bill Briggs asked if the $35,000 that was set aside at the time of the purchase in 2005 for fencing and removal of Russian olive trees had been spent. Jim believes that it was spent almost entirely on Russian olive removal, and a culvert that had to be installed to bridge the Dry Creek Davidson Ditch. John commented that it is a very beautiful property and deserves to have a family in it, and hopes it will be maintained as a small family farm. AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE S MOTION John Putnam offered a motion recommending that City Council approve the disposition. Pat Billig seconded. Allyn Feinberg added that she usually resists selling any Open Space property, but this sale was always anticipated and because of the intact historic nature of the site, she feels it is better with a private owner. Bill Briggs amended John's motion to include approval of the disposition by the Board. VOTE The amended motion passed unanimously. AGENDA ITEM 7 -Recommendations for expanding the Trailhead Leash Pilot Program to additional trailheads and parking areas* Jerry Katopodes, one of the OSMP rangers, presented the recommendation to expand the Trailhead Leash Pilot program. The Trailhead Leash program is a strategy called out in the Visitor Master Plan (VMP) to reduce visitor conflicts. The pilot program started in 2005; the pilot areas were monitored and produced favorable results. Compliance with regulations increased, conflictive behavior decreased and excrement removal compliance increased in the pilot areas. In some areas, unfavorable behaviors moved to just beyond the trailhead leash zones so staff decided to shorten the zones in some areas so the dog information and rules and regulations are at the end of the zones. Staff believes that the program should be expanded to all trailheads and parking areas, including some picnic areas and trail entry points. Jerry showed the azeas that will be affected and went over some of the changes to specific trailheads; details are in the Boazd memo. The five pilot areas helped to increase compliance throughout the whole system because it ensured people had leashes with them. The expanded Trailhead Leash program will be implemented in stages with advance notification at trailheads, updated brochures, updates on the website, and new signs at the trailheads. Education and Outreach staff will also be at trailheads, and after a period of time for education, enforcement of the new trailhead leash areas will begin. Pat Billig asked what community groups OSMP worked with to obtain feedback on the program. Jerry said staff received mostly favorable feedback on the pilot program, and added that this program is not hazd for the public to accept. Steve Armstead said that staff solicited input from FIDOS (Friends Interested in Dogs and Open Space) and FOBOS (Friends of Boulder Open Space). Pat noted that there was a significant drop in safety hazards during the study and Steve explained that the biggest drop was between dog and vehicle collisions or near misses. Bill Briggs clarified that the boundary was being pulled back closer to the trailheads at some of the pilot azeas, and asked about the Chautauqua Meadow. Jerry said the boundary at Chautauqua is remaining the same; it extends halfway up the meadow, and up to the top of Bluebell Road. Bill suggested that a more logical place for the boundary along the Baseline Trail would be where it intersects another trail rather than 50 yards past that point, a social trail has developed that heads straight to the boundary. Staff will take a look at that boundary. Public Participation Laurie Fuller, on behalf of FIDOS, said that FIDOS worked closely with OSMP staff on the trail- head leash project, and agrees that leashing in parking lots is a common sense approach, and commends staff for not requiring leashes on more trails. FIDOS wanted to take this opportunity to emphasize the positive results of the monitoring. Ms. Fuller said that the most important observation from the monitoring is that staff found very few problems beforehand. The 85 percent compliance rate before the leash requirement went into effect is remarkably high, and FIDOS hopes that those numbers alleviate concerns that dogs aze uncontrollable. Ms. Fuller also pointed out that the problem dog behaviors that people are really worried about had a very low occurrence and there were no observations of dogs hurting people. Most of the problem dog behaviors observed involved dogs barking or sniffing visitors uninvited. The study was also done prior to the Voice and Sight Control Tag Program, which has also resulted in better behavior. Ms. Fuller added that this is important information for everyone to keep in mind as OSMP moves into planning the future TSAs. AGENDA ITEM I PAGE 6 Return to Board & Staff Allyn Feinberg said the study results are encouraging, and Mike Patton agreed. AGENDA ITEM 8 -Recommended Alignment for Trail 13 in the Eldorado Mountain / Doudy Draw Trail Study Area Steve Armstead presented the final alignment for the remaining new trail in the Eldorado Mountain / Doudy Draw Trail Study Area (TSA). Trail 13 provides a connection between the Doudy Draw Trail to the west over to the Denver Water Board (DWB) canal, and also a connection to the Goshawk Trail or over to the Fowler Trail. Trail 13 will be a multiple-use trail, and will allow dogs on leash and on trail only. Trail 14 will not allow dogs. The hail will be located in diverse terrain, and will minimize impacts by not crossing Spring Brook. The bridge over the DWB canal has been moved further north, and staff decided with the bridge move that it was more advantageous to not have Trail 13 go through Spring Brook. The trail provides direct access to Goshawk Ridge and stays approximately 50 meters away from the edge of Spring Brook. This alignment causes the trail to go up the mesa itself, so the trail will have to be managed for water runoff. Staff looked at both a lower and upper alignment option. Staff is recommending the lower option to minimize impacts to native grasslands, and because they did not want it to encompass the entire mesa along the forested edge. The lower alignment also provides a nice opportunity to provide a sustainable trail. Staff also changed how Trail 13 connects to the Trail 14 stem, which changed where Trail 14 crosses the drainage; resource staff was consulted and felt that there was no significant change in that subtle movement of the trail. John Putnam asked about the types and the timing and frequency of the monitoring done in the azea. Mike Patton explained that at the March OSBT meeting there was a presentation on the wildlife monitoring in the area, and Mike said he would send John the infomration from that meeting. Steve said staff will also look at the activities on these trails, and assess any conflicts and compliance since it is required for bikes and equestrians to be on trail and dogs to be on leash. John asked about monitoring the condition of the trail itself. Steve explained that OSMP has a trail condition protocol throughout the system that assesses all trails on a three year basis. Joe Mantione added that the trail will be monitored after it is constructed as well, staff won't wait three years to make sure the construcfion and design are sustainable. Mike added that staff is also working on the limits of acceptable change (LAC) process that they will use to make judgments on impacts. The next step is to develop the expectations of what management actions will be taken depending on what is found; if hail fidelity is not good, or some impacts are more than expected. Staff Will have those in place and will talk to the Board before construction in the fall. Pat Billig added that this is really the heart of adaptive management, it is very important to have a baseline of what is there fast. Pat was surprised at the study session last year by the thorough overview of information that staff has available. The LAC need to be defined before the trails are built, not just for trail condition, but also wildlife impacts, with consideration of management options if certain pazameters or thresholds are exceeded. Steve said staff is in the process of identifying the right indicator species to monitor, and how best to protect these systems by using the indicator species. Mike added that staff is looking at those issues, and will be back to the Boazd to discuss the LAC process. Bill Briggs commended staff for choosing the west leg of the loop that parallels Spring Brook, rather than crossing Spring Brook. Bill asked if it might be better to use the old road bed in the azea instead of constructing a new trail and Steve said staff felt that the preferred alignment of the trail would help keep the trail free of water. Mike said that the location of the bridge changed things, but in a positive way, staff prefers where it will cross now from an environmental standpoint. Joe added that the Board will see an agreement with the DWB on the bridge location soon. AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE ~ Public Participation Mike Barrow, BMA, reminded everyone that there are already 35 miles of social trails in this TSA, and that the new trails aze being put in to manage this use instead of react to it. The trails will help take people to the places staff wants them want to go, and keep them away from sensitive places. The Bull Gulch azea will be shut off from human use, and anything other than Goshawk on the other side of the DWB road will be off limits without a permit. Mr. Barrow encouraged staff and the Board to move on with building this trail. He said it is up to the professionals in OSMP to figure out a good trail alignment, and does not think the Board is the proper place for discussing minor changes to the trail. The Board and community have to have confidence that staff is capable of designing the trail. Mr. Barrow added that the volunteer bike patrol is ready to make sure bikers behave on the new trail. Larry MacDonnell, speaking on behalf of FOBOs, explained that this trail is partly why FOBOS exists. OSMP's failure to adequately anticipate the impacts of building new trails in this area caused this group to come together to pressure staff to obtain baseline information before the trails were built. It was not until the meeting Pat Billing refereed to last yeaz that Mr. MacDonnell realized that staff understood the impacts to wildlife in this area, but by that time it was already decided that the trails would be built. FOBOS worked very hard to encourage staff to do more monitoring in the area. Mr. MacDonnell said there may be substantial changes with the use of trails in this area, and that adaptive management needs to be done prior to construction. It needs to be c]eaz what will happen if thresholds are exceeded and the damages are too great. If people have not bought into the plan before the trails are built it will be very hard to convince people to curb their use after the trails are built. Ray Bridge, speakiug on behalf of PLAN Boulder County, commended staff members for the process they have gone through with this trail. One of the reasons it became such a long process is because OSMP tried to push some decisions sooner than was advisable. Mr. Bridge said staff is trying to remedy that with the West TSA by doing a resource inventory before they start planning trails. He would like to strongly recommend that the Boazd ask staff to detail out the LAC process for each trail before they are built. Staff needs to monitor various user conflicts, which has historically been done through the LAC process by other land management agencies. Mr. Bridge thinks the Board received the documents FOBOS produced suggesting what could be done for wildlife/plant management, and he is confident that staff will come up with documents for monitoring the physical trail attributes. The management goals and decisions take longer if they are put off, and it is hazd to get public buy-in after the fact, whereas if they are done up front, people aze aware of what kinds of decisions may be made. Mr. Bridge said the Goshawk Ridge Trail is an example of the importance of outlining management actions beforehand. The trail is set up to allow horses provisionally for a few years, and it will be very important for equestrians to know what staff is going to measure to determine impacts before the trail is built. Mr. Bridge would like to push for documentation on all of these issues ahead of time, to make sure that they aze in place before construction starts. Ellen Needy, said she is a mountain biker and loathes having to drive to trailheads. Recently, she rode all of the trails that are open to bikes in the city. She said the trails to the north and east were disappoinfing, but in the southern azea, she was pleasantly surprised. There have been some great new trails put in there, and she said that it seems it is no coincidence that this is the area where the VMP began to be implemented. Ms. Needy is very grateful for the work staff has done so faz, and is hopeful for what the VMP will produce in the future. She hopes the Board is supportive of the changes the VMP is bringing to this area and others, as it has the potential to greatly improve recreational opportunities for residents in this area. Return to Board & Staff Allyn Feinberg thinks the LAC issue will involve a larger discussion than what can be covered at the retreat. Staff needs to determine what results might trigger management changes and how that information will be communicated to the public ahead of time. Allyn thinks using the Grassland AGENDA TTEM 1 PAGE S Management Plan (GMAP) and the Forest Ecosystem Management Plan (FEMP) as the underlying basis for resource preservation may be a good approach. Mike Patton said staff can talk about the concepts of monitoring and LAC at the retreat, but since the date is coming up soon he is not sure that staff will be at a point where they are ready to recommend specific limits. The bid for the resource inventory analysis in the West TSA has been let. Jll the past this has typically been done by staff, but this time the inventory work will be done by a consultant with staff still making the decisions. This work will establish specific resource targets, which will help staff know more beforehand than in the past two TSAs. John Putnam feels the value of talking about the LAC process even without detailed substance to fill it in is important, and worth discussing at the retreat. Pat Billig added that the example Mr. Bridge gave about equestrian use on the Goshawk Ridge Trail is a great reason to have the LAC thought out ahead of time so staff does not run into frustration from the public later. Mike said he agrees completely. Pat asked how staff plans to discourage use of social trails in the Eldorado area once they are closed. Mike explained that there will be an educational component and a sign component when the new trails are rolled out. Education and Outreach folks will staff the area and ranger presence and enforcement will also be important. Staff will make a concerted effort in the media and at the trailheads when these trails open to inform the public about social trails. The planning process for this is a departure from what has been done in the past. Doudy Draw is the first time mountain bikes have been allowed west of Highway 93 and staff does not want any visitor conflict. Joe Mantione added that a staff team has been formed to tackle the social trail issue, and that all social trails that will be closed are part of a restoration plan. Mike reminded the Board that when staff took the VMP to City Council, staff had recommended that the Spring Brook area be part of the Eldorado Mountain HCA, but Council told staff to make it a natural area. Council asked staff to carefully monitor the area and manage it appropriately. Staff will manage the area in a way so the most important environmental aspects of the system are protected and if not successful staff will come back to the Board and council. ADJOURNMENT -The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. These minutes prepared by Sarah Diefenbach. APPR VE BY: Al] inberg r~ Bo Chair DATE AGENDA ITEM 1 PAGE 9